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How To Approach An Air Filtration Problem

An air purification expert is the customer’s best resource for selecting the appropriate air filtration equipment and answering this question. However, thinking about the following items regarding an air quality problem will assist the end-user with receiving the solution to that problem in the timeliest fashion.

So how does an Air Quality Engineering, Inc. representative approach an air filtration problem?

Our experts break it down into 3 simple steps:

  1. What is the contaminant?
  2. How do we capture the contaminant?
  3. What equipment can we use?

1) What form the contaminant is in is usually a straightforward question to answer and it’s the most important thing to know when approaching an air quality problem. Is the contaminant a mist, smoke, dust, vapor, volatile organic compound (VOC – odors would be considered VOCs), fume, etc.? Often times it will be obvious what form the contaminant is in if we look at what process is taking place and the materials that are involved in that process. Remember to provide a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) to your air filtration representative if chemicals are involved with the process.

2) There are 3 ways to capture air contaminants and get them to the air cleaner. Generally, the most effective method is to use source capture. Source capture usually involves ductwork or a capture arm of some kind that is placed near the point of generation for the contaminant. Another effective capture method is what we at AQE refer to as isolation (iso) capture. The iso capture method is one in which we utilize positive or negative pressure to keep contaminant from entering or exiting an enclosure. The third and most widely recognized capture method is referred to as ambient capture. An example of ambient capture would be placing an air cleaner in a room or enclosure and recirculating the air within that space.

When answering the question of how to capture the contaminant there are several other factors to keep in mind. What mounting options are available? Are there space restrictions such as overhead cranes, ceiling design, HVAC obstructions, floor space constraints, existing ductwork, etc.? If source capture is the preferred capture method what will the ducting layout look like? It’s always helpful to have a drawing (even a rough sketch) of what this duct design may look like as it aides in fan sizing and cost calculations. The room layout (L x W x H) will be necessary information when exploring either an iso or ambient capture method solution – see Air Cleaners Sizing. Finally, it’s always good to know up front what voltage is available (phase, voltage and frequency).

3) Lastly, you’ll want to discuss the information you’ve gathered with an air filtration representative to determine what equipment works best to solve your air quality needs.